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Ruins at the Three Pillars of Ssa-Tun

Along the blighted coast, beyond the lands of snow and ice and the adventurers’ boom-town of Gravelthorpe there is an old white stone pier on a quiet lonely shore. In the right seasons you can sometimes find the ruined road that leads into the hills from there and eventually to the valley of the Three Pillars of Ssa-Tun.

Ruins at the Three Pillars of Ssa-TunRuins at the Three Pillars of Ssa-Tun

The three pillars of Ssa-Tun are massive spires of marbled white and purple stone that reach up over a hundred feet from the ground and descend to unknown depths. Leading to these pillars are a few old ruins reduced to small mounds of rubble, and a much more intact set of ruins built up around the pillars themselves.

And of course, these ruins are inhabited by something unpleasant, alien, and milky white in colour. For the pillars of Ssa-Tun are used, when the stars are right and the proper incantations made, to travel to three specific sites in the Alabaster Hells…

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The maps on Dyson’s Dodecahedron are released for free personal use thanks to the support of awesome patrons like you over on Patreon. Every month 400 patrons come together to make these releases possible. You can help too in order to keep the flow of maps coming and to improve their quality – and even get a map of your own!

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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The Delren Street Sewers

While much of the city is served by “surface sewers” to move waste and water, in parts of the old town there exist proper underground sewers that date back to the previous empire’s attempts to clean up the city as a whole. Basements in these neighbourhoods occasionally incorporate parts of the sewer construction, or vice versa. And of course, in the trope of D&D sewers, they have become home to wererats and other foul creatures that represent the decay and seedy side of civilization.

Delren Street SewersDelren Street Sewers

This map focuses on one of the more interesting parts of the sewers under Delren Street. The central location (top centre of the map) is an old basement that is no longer connected to the structure above it and that is linked into the sewers by a secret door. This basement is currently in use by Skittler, an old wererat sorcerer who maintains a small study and bedroom in a side chamber. The rest of the basement is kept fairly clean, with Skittler sweeping it out regularly (and leaving a small pile of dust right outside the secret door).

South of Skittler’s lair is the lair of a couple of less “human” wererats. The entrance to this lair are a pair of large rat-holes in the walls of the sewer – however recently they’ve taken to bringing in larger items to make themselves more comfortable, and have had to enlarge one of their holes to do so – meaning that it is only a matter of time before someone discovers this hiding place.

To the right we have a maintenance access to the sewers (a hatch leading down stairs to the sewers themselves. Extended sections of this area have been barred off with a permanent portculis-type wall. At the upper-right edge of the map we have a section of these structures that has been sealed off from the sewers proper and converted into the basement of a small inn above.

patreon-supported-banner

The maps on Dyson’s Dodecahedron are released for free personal use thanks to the support of awesome patrons like you over on Patreon. Every month 400 patrons come together to make these releases possible. You can help too in order to keep the flow of maps coming and to improve their quality – and even get a map of your own!

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Heart of Darkling – DiTullio Islands

Several rivers run into the Darkling Lake – the vast underground “sea” at the end of the Darkling River. The Ditullio Islands are a small fishing community of mad derro tucked against the shore of the Darkling Lake where two smaller rivers enter it.

DiTullio IslandsDiTullio Islands

The DiTullio derro are paranoid and hostile to everyone, and often to each other. But they truly fear the aboleth lords who lurk in the darkest depths of the Darkling Lake. They have erected a number of small stone houses on their islands, and laid claim to a heavy stone tower that predates their settlement (likely crafted by magic as the stone is nearly perfectly smooth).

They fish on their boats when they seek solitude, but most of their food comes from the fishing nets set to capture fish that come from the smaller river outlet which pours into the Darkling down a twelve foot waterfall. The constant sound of the waterfall only serves to heighten the paranoia of the Derro, but they dare not move away from it as it is their best food source.

patreon-supported-banner

This map is made available to you under a free license for personal or commercial use thanks to the awesome supporters of my Patreon Campaign. Over 400 amazingly generous people have come together to fund the site and these maps, making them free for your use.

Because of the incredible generosity of my patrons, I’m able to make these maps free for commercial use also. Each month while funding is over the $300 mark, each map that achieves the $300+ funding level will be released under this free commercial license. You can use, reuse, remix and/or modify the maps that are being published under this commercial license on a royalty-free basis as long as they include attribution (“Cartography by Dyson Logos” or “Maps by Dyson Logos”). For those that want/need a Creative Commons license, it would look something like this:

Creative Commons LicenseCartography by Dyson Logos is licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Four Against Darkness – The Dragons Nest

In my efforts to level up my Four Against Darkness party to level 5 to try out the “Four Against the Abyss” book, I played what ended up being my shortest game to date at just under 20 minutes.

The Dragons NestThe Dragons Nest

In the first room of the dungeon we ran into our first-ever dragon. As a level 6 boss monster, this would have been ruinous for a low level party. But right now our Barbarian is packing a +5 bonus in combat, the elf lays out a nice +3 (+4 with his bow), and the cleric and rogue are essentially there as meatshields / healers (the rogue’s high defense means he’s almost always the first thing that monsters attack).

If anything, the dragon’s breath weapon is a welcome attack form, as it spreads its damage over the whole party, grants a saving throw of 3+ (2+ for the barbarian) and keeps the dragon from clawing at us. The battle ended up running for a few rounds as the barbarian beat the beast to death, with the rogue never landing a single blow.

An encounter with a firebreathing chimera awaits us in the next hall, and then we meet the white lady who tasks us with a quest to bring back the next dragon we find… alive.

And in the next room, we meet the Dragon. And this one is also the “boss monster” of the dungeon. This battle is a lot harder – we are fighting at -1 because we are trying to subdue the beast. This means the rogue needs to roll a 7+ to hit it, the cleric a 6+ (effectively the same thing), the Elf a 4+, and the Barbarian a 2+. And it has extra toughness. And an extra claw attack. And the alternate to beating it unconscious at -1 to attacks is to knock it out with a sleep spell… which dragons are immune to.

The fight took many more rounds than I expected. I gave the boss dragon its extra claw attack even on rounds where it breathed fire, and neither the rogue nor the cleric ever landed a blow on the beast, leaving the battle to the elf and barbarian again. But the Barbarian’s Rage helped a lot, and the dragon was beaten bloody, thrown in a giant dragon-dragging-sack, and hauled back to the White Lady who rewarded us with The Book of Skalitos – a full spellbook for the elf that can be used as six individual scrolls, or to add spells to his spell selection. Plus dealing with a dragon as the final boss gives 2 XP rolls, and completing the quest for the white lady gave us another, bringing the Barbarian to level 5, and the rest of the party to level 3.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Four Against Darkness – Proving Grounds of the Mad Ogre Lord

One more game of Four Against Darkness and it proved (finally) that with familiarity I can actually get a game played in the time suggested (45 minutes). Again, this was played using the suggested half-sheet page size (it is actually on the same page as the Crypt of the Queen of Bones), so it is somewhat more dense than the first dungeon I explored.

Proving Grounds of the Mad Ogre LordProving Grounds of the Mad Ogre Lord

This game included the first time I’ve ever actually worried about the fates of my characters in combat (as opposed to worrying about the medusa’s gaze). My dice were against me and The Mad Ogre Lord was nigh unassailable, and if the Priest of Marduk hadn’t intervened with two healing spells during the battle, Red Dougal the rogue would have been reduced to an ugly red smear on the floor.

But in the end the Ogre fell, Red Dougal picked up our first magic weapon (a small magical club), and we proved ourselves in the Proving Grounds of the Mad Ogre Lord. The party is now levels 2, 3, 4, and 3. The plan is to get this crew to level 5 and then try out the Four Against the Abyss rules… Then later I’ll start a new party and try the various adventures I’ve bought for the game.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Wharton Mine

Old Wharton Mine was a small local source of onyx in its prime, but its location deep in the jungle made it nigh impossible to maintain supply lines or defenses. In the end the mine was abandoned because of prowling beasts and the difficulty in maintaining a workforce out here.

Wharton MineWharton Mine

But onyx is a troubling stone. It is the standard material component for animating the dead, and it seems some dark magic is present in the old mine as well as many chips and bits of black and white banded onyx. Now the dead crawl the mine, waiting for prey to kill and try to consume. Animals that came here to get out of the heat were the first victims, but the other beasts of the area have learned to avoid it.

Now the dead wait for those foolhardy enough to try to reopen the mine, or to claim the onyx that remains.

patreon-supported-banner

This map is made available to you under a free license for personal or commercial use thanks to the awesome supporters of my Patreon Campaign. Over 400 amazingly generous people have come together to fund the site and these maps, making them free for your use.

Because of the incredible generosity of my patrons, I’m able to make these maps free for commercial use also. Each month while funding is over the $300 mark, each map that achieves the $300+ funding level will be released under this free commercial license. You can use, reuse, remix and/or modify the maps that are being published under this commercial license on a royalty-free basis as long as they include attribution (“Cartography by Dyson Logos” or “Maps by Dyson Logos”). For those that want/need a Creative Commons license, it would look something like this:

Creative Commons LicenseCartography by Dyson Logos is licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Neoclassical Geek Revival – The Dyson Logos Edition!

My doodles and drawings have found a new home!

I’ve been playing Zzarchov Kowolski’s Neoclassical Geek Revival RPG for a few years now, and have designed the character sheets for the previous two editions of the game. But of course, that wasn’t enough.

Zzarchov is Kickstarting the latest edition of NGR, and this time there will be a number of styles to choose from when you get the book or PDF. And one of them will be mine – I will be drawing every piece of art in this volume from cover to character sheets.

But there are other artists to choose from also! Versions of the rules will be available with Scrap Princess’s art, Alex Mayo’s, and if the stretch goal is reached, Chris Huth’s!

The Kickstarter also includes two other incredible books – a print omnibus of Zzarchov’s incredible collection of adventures, and a new adventure for NGR (City of Tears) that I did the cartography for and that is downright amazing.

So get in there and get yourself some NGR!

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Four Against Darkness – Party Sheet

In the photo I posted of my setup to play Four Against Darkness a couple of days ago, there was an alternate Party Record Sheet that a few people have asked me about. It is one I drew up quickly for my first session, so it might evolve a bit as I keep playing the game.

Click on the image to be taken to the full size version.

Four Against Darkness Party RecordFour Against Darkness Party Record

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Four Against Darkness – Crypt of the Queen of Bones

Back for another game of Four Against Darkness!

One of the things I noted after last game is that they recommend what is effectively a half-page of graph paper as the maximum size for a dungeon (whereas the Temple of the Jade Gorgon took up most of a full page). The reduced page size makes for a more dense feeling dungeon, and also means you run out of room faster thus precipitating the battle with the final boss monster.

Crypt of the Queen of BonesCrypt of the Queen of Bones

This session involved fighting a LOT of undead – skeletons, zombies, skeletal rats, more skeletons… and the final encounter was once again the terrifying Medusa. This time she only managed to petrify two party members, and I’ve armed myself with insurance against future medusa encounters as I’ve found two blessing scrolls throughout the dungeon – so the elf and the rogue both carry one in case the cleric gets petrified.

The crypts also included my first run with a secret door and a puzzle/trap that we easily defeated. I used my methodology from running many games using the AD&D random dungeon generation tables to mash areas together when they collide, so the dungeon layout has more loops in the overall design – if a room comes really close to another doorway, just link them together and make it easy on yourself.

At the end of this session, the party was a mix of levels 2 & 3, so we’ll need to head down again and try to even things out. Or I could just keep emphasis on the Jale Man Barbarian to make him a slaughtering machine – his rage attack killed the Medusa in this dungeon in a single round of mashing and smashing.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Four Against Darkness – Temple of the Jade Gorgon

On Wednesday, I decided to give myself the “day off” to just play games and ignore any work or chores or whatever. Ordered out for food, and pulled out “Four Against Darkness” for the first time.

It is a solo dungeon-delving game and this was my first run through it. The book says your first run should take about an hour, with later games taking about 45 minutes, but I found my game took about 150 minutes to play through – with lots of flipping through the book. But it will definitely get quicker now that I know most of the systems in play.

Temple of the Jade GorgonTemple of the Jade Gorgon

I’ll be honest, this first delve felt a little too easy. Maybe I was just really lucky, so we’ll have to try a second game to be sure. But part of the problem I foresee is that as characters gain levels, the dungeons (at least in the first book) don’t – so once you’ve survived a few dungeons, you should be hell on wheels.

But I’ve got a lot of adventure modules to try out also. I’ll take the base game for another spin or two, then move on to the modules.

Highlight of this session was the Jade Gorgon. At the beginning of the encounter she turned everyone in the party to stone except the cleric. Which was good, as the cleric has the Blessing spell which reverses petrification… So I guess just one different roll would have massively changed the whole climax of the adventure.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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The Savage Caves

The ruins of Saurguard Haunt are but burned stones and bits of rain-cleaned charcoal. But it is a harder task to burn down the small dungeon that sat beneath it.

The Savage CavesThe Savage Caves

Used as a traditional dungeon to hold prisoners under Saurguard – the dungeon was being expanded to include a temple to the proscribed lords of damnation when construction breached into a a cave slightly beneath the level of the temple and proceeded down through the limestone to the hillside beneath the Haunt.

Of course, you can’t just leave places like this open and unguarded and not expect foul things to move in… The lower entrance to the savage caves has been claimed by giant spiders who have killed off the entire bat population that once lived here, and who knows what foulness has taken over the ancient dungeons?

patreon-supported-banner

This map is made available to you under a free license for personal or commercial use thanks to the awesome supporters of my Patreon Campaign. Over 400 amazingly generous people have come together to fund the site and these maps, making them free for your use.

Because of the incredible generosity of my patrons, I’m able to make these maps free for commercial use also. Each month while funding is over the $300 mark, each map that achieves the $300+ funding level will be released under this free commercial license. You can use, reuse, remix and/or modify the maps that are being published under this commercial license on a royalty-free basis as long as they include attribution (“Cartography by Dyson Logos” or “Maps by Dyson Logos”). For those that want/need a Creative Commons license, it would look something like this:

Creative Commons LicenseCartography by Dyson Logos is licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Guimond’s Tower and Lair of the Druid Lich

Nestled into the Shadow Woods is Guimond’s Tower – a crumbling multi-story stone and wood structure that looks ready to slide down into the woods at a moments notice. Up on the top of the aged stone is a wooden house-like construction looking down on the tree tops in the area. Some believe that the ageless druid-lich (who goes by various names in various stories) of the Shadow Woods lives in the small house at the top of the tower – which explains both how the wooden structure seems to be outlasting the stone tower, and why the stone tower has not collapsed yet.

Guimond's Tower and Lair of the Druid LichGuimond’s Tower and Lair of the Druid Lich

Like most rumours and sage’s tales, there is more than a small kernel of truth to this. The wooden house is indeed maintained by an ancient nearly-blind hermit who lives here unmolested because the druid-lich lives quite nearby – under the tower in fact.

The tower’s dungeon cannot be reached from within the tower, but by a secret trap door in the grounds just outside the tower. The druid-lich keeps the trap door well hidden by controlling the growth of grass over it, so it is always entirely overgrown and concealed.

The secret door leads to old stone stairs, and in turn to the crypts under Guimond’s Tower. From the old crypts, caves lead deeper underground towards the sound of dripping water and to earthen and stone caves with tree roots hanging from the ceiling and working down the walls. A small pond is back here, and a smaller altar where the druid-lich worships and works in darkness and near-silence.

patreon-supported-banner

This map is made available to you under a free license for personal or commercial use thanks to the awesome supporters of my Patreon Campaign. Over 400 amazingly generous people have come together to fund the site and these maps, making them free for your use.

Because of the incredible generosity of my patrons, I’m able to make these maps free for commercial use also. Each month while funding is over the $300 mark, each map that achieves the $300+ funding level will be released under this free commercial license. You can use, reuse, remix and/or modify the maps that are being published under this commercial license on a royalty-free basis as long as they include attribution (“Cartography by Dyson Logos” or “Maps by Dyson Logos”). For those that want/need a Creative Commons license, it would look something like this:

Creative Commons LicenseCartography by Dyson Logos is licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Release the Kraken on Warcton Hold

Release-The-Kraken

Happy Canada Day everyone! To celebrate the birth of our wonderful nation, and to avoid the 47 degree weather, it is time to release the Kraken on yet another unsuspecting waterside village!

Warcton HoldWarcton Hold

Two hundred years ago the foul giant Auruxvor terrorized the lands along the western shore of the Krumpt Basin from his fortified lakeside “manor”. Padreth Warcton and a group of mercenaries and adventurers put an end to the giant’s reign of terror and with powerful magics they tore his house asunder.

Two of Padreth’s acolytes remained at the site of the old manor and assisted the locals in building a few small fortifications from the stony debris left behind. Over a few years the fortifications and homes became the southern portion of Warcton Hold. The walls and tower on the south side of the hold have many massive stones that still bear the markings of the giant Auruxvor as well as the magical violence that ended his time.

fortified-village-wip

The hold continued to grow. The initial farmers who moved to the hold would leave the town walls to work their fields and herd their animals. Over the years the hold became the centre of local activity and farmers from further away would come to town to trade goods and eventually to acquire fish for a change in their diet once a few local families moved from agriculture to fishing in the Krumpt Basin.

Today there are few farmers who live within the hold itself. A few families who maintain very large farms that are then worked by local tenants are now ensconced here, along with two merchant clans, the local fisher families (who have to clean their catch at an island in the Basin to keep the smell out of the hold), a retired adventurer or two, and of course a number of worshipers of the church that originally brought Padreth Warcton and company here.

Warcton Hold (Clean)Warcton Hold (Clean)

The three most obvious details a traveller notes when visiting Warcton Hold for the first time are the walls, the watchtower and the u-shaped building attached to it.

The walls are of mixed hard stone, much of it worked by the giant Auruxvor and his kin prior to it being repurposed by the locals, and stand fourteen feet tall with battlements mostly along the outer edge. Access to the wall top is via a number of small stone towers built into the wall that are of the same height but have ladders within them to the walls themselves. The walls on the north side of the hold are primarily made of field stone, but share the same construction style.

The octagonal watch tower is a stout four-story affair also primarily made of the giant’s stonework. It is connected by a wall and walkway (with an archway to pass under it) to the large wooden U-shaped structure which acts as the home to the local church and the acolytes sent here to maintain it  from the distant capital.

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This map is made available to you under a free license for personal or commercial use under the “RELEASE THE KRAKEN” initiative thanks to the awesome supporters of my Patreon Campaign. Over 400 awesome patrons have come together to fund the site and these maps, making them free for your use.

Because of the incredible generosity of my patrons, I’m able to make this map free for commercial use also. Each month while funding is over the $400 mark, we choose a map from the blog’s extensive back catalog to retroactively release under this free commercial license. You can use, reuse, remix and/or modify the maps that are being published under the commercial license on a royalty-free basis as long as they include attribution (“Cartography by Dyson Logos” or “Maps by Dyson Logos”). For those that want/need a Creative Commons license, it would look something like this:

Creative Commons LicenseCartography by Dyson Logos is licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Release the Kraken on Melad Crossings

Release-The-Kraken

The heat of summer is upon me – and just when I was hoping it was safe to get in the water, a kraken was released! The first of the two maps being re-released under a commercial license is Melad Crossings, a small village map I drew in the summer of 2014.

Melad CrossingsMelad Crossings

Foul things are afoot in the town of Melad Crossings. One of the two mills has stopped, the smell of death creeps by in the wind from many buildings, the streets are barren, and those who live are not likely to be out of doors except as is necessary.

The water along the west fork of the river is running milky white, and none of the fishermen are among the living, struck dead two weeks ago just as the river began to change. But that doesn’t explain all the deaths – something else must be working it’s way through the townfolk… while the headsman says it is disease and begs for the church to send healers or paladins, others believe something far more sentient and sinister is behind the continued deaths.

Melad CrossingsMelad Crossings

Or, you know, it could just be a pleasant little town for your adventuring party to chill out at en route to their next adventure.

kraken-patreon-supported-banner

This map is made available to you under a free license for personal or commercial use under the “RELEASE THE KRAKEN” initiative thanks to the awesome supporters of my Patreon Campaign. Over 400 awesome patrons have come together to fund the site and these maps, making them free for your use.

Because of the incredible generosity of my patrons, I’m able to make this map free for commercial use also. Each month while funding is over the $400 mark, we choose a map from the blog’s extensive back catalog to retroactively release under this free commercial license. You can use, reuse, remix and/or modify the maps that are being published under the commercial license on a royalty-free basis as long as they include attribution (“Cartography by Dyson Logos” or “Maps by Dyson Logos”). For those that want/need a Creative Commons license, it would look something like this:

Creative Commons LicenseCartography by Dyson Logos is licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Lair of the Golden Wolf

Pushing out of the cliff face like a partially exposed egg, this small dungeon complex was evidently not built here but transported in some manner. Either that, or the craftsmen were purposefully annoying in the design as the whole interior structure is at an uncomfortable 7 degree angle with the right edge of the map being slightly more than 36 feet above the height of the entrance doors.

Lair of the Golden WolfLair of the Golden Wolf

In addition to the awkward angle, the interior of the structure bears a strong scent like a mix of musk and nutmeg. The walls and floors are painted gold, but are scratched up badly enough that most floors and west walls appear to be grey stone with gold streaks on them. Doorways, where open, have golden hair on them from some mighty beast having to squeeze through.

Prowling this space, of course, is the Golden Wolf – an extraplanar beast that must squeeze to push through the 4 foot doorways and is much more comfortable in the wide circular hall of the complex. All doors here open as it approaches, but are often stuck for others. The Golden Wolf guards its treasure jealously – the carcasses of seven platinum geese, each with its neck snapped.

patreon-supported-banner

The maps on Dyson’s Dodecahedron are released for free personal use thanks to the support of awesome patrons like you over on Patreon. Every month 400 patrons come together to make these releases possible. You can help too in order to keep the flow of maps coming and to improve their quality – and even get a map of your own!

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Deal of the Day: Shadows of Forgotten Kings

For the next 24 hours only, our first 5e adventure is the Deal of the Day on RPGnow / DriveThruRPG. Normally $7.50, for today only it is on sale for $3.75.

Shadows of Forgotten Kings is a level 3 adventure that brings the party to a village at the edge of the jungle that was home to an ancient empire.

“…an old school dungeon crawl that will function under the mechanics and typical playstyle/conceits of 5th edition D&D, while inspiring players who are comfortable with this game style to think about and hopefully embrace some of the classic dungeon crawl/location based adventure ethos.”

The villages on the edge of the jungle used to be wealthy: they gathered fruits and exotic hardwoods from within the jungle and sold them as wines and furniture to regular merchant caravans in exchange for grains and other staples.

But caravans do not make it through anymore. A handful of tattered survivors have made it back to the city and reported being assaulted by wave after wave of panthers that would attack, retreat, and attack again in replenished numbers. The merchant houses want their lucrative route back. The villages need grain and supplies; their people cannot live forever scavenging fruit and huddling by their hearths in fear every night.

“Shadows of Forgotten Kings has a consistent feel, creating a lost city jungle adventure that emphasizes both the tragedy of the city’s ancient fate and firmly roots the adventure in a swords & sorcery setting that is refreshingly mysterious and dangerous”

Tales lead deeper into the jungle – to the ruins of an ancient empire fallen to a terrible curse.

Get Shadows of Forgotten Kings by the renowned
Zzarchov Kowolski
for merely $3.75 today only!

 

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Vault of the Cave Morphs!

Based on the cave work I did for the Descent into the Depths of the Earth tunnels and passages, here are five cave geomorphs that can be used to link up to any existing tunnels. They are all 2 squares wide at the entrances just like the existing encounter area maps for that adventure, so they mesh best with the secondary tunnels but can be used as constrictions in primary passages or widened areas in tertiary tunnels.

Vault of the CaveMorphs!Vault of the CaveMorphs!

These were my first experiment using a sharpie marker as the foundation of my map drawing – for a number of these geomorphs the outer walls were drawn using a dying marker instead of my usual felt-tipped technical pens. They were drawn using a 07 gel pen for most details and hatching (the same pens I used back when I first started drawing maps), and the sharpie marker for the walls. I used a Squarehex PoGI (Pad of Geomorphic Intent) and drew them while watching “The New Girl” on TV with MissGladiator (and while digging through my Twilight 2000 materials, as you can see in the photo below).

This experiment with a sharpie marker in February (I drew these in February and am finally posting them now? WTH?) is what inspired me to buy a bunch more Sharpies which has lead to my current line of “Daily Doodles” that you can follow along with if you follow any of my social media feeds (on Twitter, FaceBook, or Google+).

patreon-supported-banner

The maps on Dyson’s Dodecahedron are released for free personal use thanks to the support of awesome patrons like you over on Patreon. Every month 400 patrons come together to make these releases possible. You can help too in order to keep the flow of maps coming and to improve their quality – and even get a map of your own!

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Baraloba: Forest Paths

This post is one of a series presenting the hexmaps of Baraloba and the areas around it. You can see the rest of the set here: [Baraloba and Environs].


Southwest of Baraloba, the Eagle Hills continue into heavy forests. The closest thing here to Baraloba itself is yet another of the old giant’s watchtowers – although this one is not as decrepit as most of the other ruined towers in the region. A druid and their apprentice maintain the tower and keep a small herd of goats that keep the grass in the hills and vales of the area nicely clipped. A trail leads from the tower into the woods and to a massive tree in the middle of a clearing where the druids perform their rites and occasionally just engage in silent contemplation.

Baraloba: Forest PathsBaraloba: Forest Paths

A little further to the west another trail leads through the woods to a very large farm / small farming community. A couple of large multigenerational families run these farms and generally try to be self-sufficient, only walking to Baraloba when they require supplies they cannot find or make on their own or with the help of the druids in the tower. The rest of the hex is unpopulated wilderness – rolling hills and a few jutting chunks of stone, expanses of dark and heavy forest teeming with wildlife, small bubbling brooks, and a lazy river looping gently through the hills.

Baraloba Assembled - 7 HexesBaraloba Assembled – 7 Hexes

And here we see how the set of seven Baraloba hexmaps fit together. On a normal 6-mile-hex map these would be a village hex in the middle with (clockwise from the top) badlands & ruins hex, hills hex, forest hex, hills hex with mine, forest hex, forest hex.

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The maps on Dyson’s Dodecahedron are released for free personal use thanks to the support of awesome patrons like you over on Patreon. Every month 400 patrons come together to make these releases possible. You can help too in order to keep the flow of maps coming and to improve their quality – and even get a map of your own!

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Baraloba: The Eagle Hills Mines

This post is one of a series presenting the hexmaps of Baraloba and the areas around it. You can see the rest of the set here: [Baraloba and Environs].


To the south of Baraloba are the Eagle Hills and the imaginatively named Eagle Hills River that runs through it from south to north before joining the Hewbank. The Eagle Hills have a mix of chalk and coal deposits that were attractive to miners. Most of the deposits have now been worked, leaving a collection of open mines and shaft mines in the area. The central point of interest in this hex is the old open chalk mine that takes up 11 of the subhexes right in the middle of the map. The hills here are bright white and are a mix of natural hills and tailings from the mining operations.

Baraloba - The Eagle Hills MinesBaraloba – The Eagle Hills Mines

On the opposite side of the river and small lake from the mines is a boggy marshland slowly being reclaimed by the forest. If one were to dig beneath the immediate mud and water, it would be noted that the reason this area is low and doesn’t drain properly is that it too was an open mine at some point.

Further south along the river is a small drift mine that has become home to a modest group of humanoids. They keep a low profile and farm the area around the minehead, using grain stolen from caravan a decade ago as their original seed stock. There are less than a score of them living here and they take significant pains to not be noticed by the residents of Baraloba only seven miles away.

patreon-supported-banner

The maps on Dyson’s Dodecahedron are released for free personal use thanks to the support of awesome patrons like you over on Patreon. Every month 400 patrons come together to make these releases possible. You can help too in order to keep the flow of maps coming and to improve their quality – and even get a map of your own!

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Barrow Mounds of the Lich and Famous

Burial mounds are a staple of fantasy games and stories. Today’s offering is a collection of nine different burial mounds for those occasions when you really need to loot a a small tomb right now.

Barrow Mounds of the Lich and FamousBarrow Mounds of the Lich and Famous

The four lower tombs have Greek “Dromos” entrances – an “avenue” cut into the barrow hill leading to the door to the tomb itself. These avenues would be built up in stone to hold back the earth of the mound and to provide a clear route to the door. Often the end of the dromos furthest from the door would be decorated with columns or other decorations, often long gone by the time would-be tomb robbers arrive on site.

patreon-supported-banner

The maps on Dyson’s Dodecahedron are released for free personal use thanks to the support of awesome patrons like you over on Patreon. Every month 400 patrons come together to make these releases possible. You can help too in order to keep the flow of maps coming and to improve their quality – and even get a map of your own!

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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